110 • Bach’s Bible

In the last 30 years of his life, Johann Sebastian Bach was reading and studying the so called Calov Bible, a slab of Martin Luther's German translation of the gospel with popular explanations and interpretations by the great Lutheran theologian and scholar Abraham Calovius.

Bach wrote little commentaries with his own pen in the page margins when a passage particularly captivated or intrigued him. The following note seems to me especially revealing of Bach's relation to music and to the biblical god:

Bey einer andächtig Musiq ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden gegenwart.

My translation: Upon reverent music, God with his Grace is ever-present.

The two images below show
1) my hand in white glove on the particular page with
2) the notable quote:

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